Mitsubishi to invest in US solar firm Nexamp

U.S. solar project developer Nexamp has agreed to a bid by Japanese corporation Mitsubishi to own a "near majority stake" in the firm.

The agreement sees Mitsubishi make an undisclosed, corporate investment in Boston-based Nexamp via a third-party deal. According to Mitsubishi, Rising Sun Solar LLC, a subsidiary of its wholly owned unit Diamond Generating Corp, which is a local independent power producer (IPP) in the U.S., will make the investment and acquire the interest in Nexamp.

The goal is to help Nexamp build upon its nascent progress in developing distributed solar PV projects in the U.S. northeast, building upon an existing 50 MW portfolio for DG solar in the region, Mitsubishi said.

"Solar is one of America’s fastest-growing sources of new power generation and we intend to take a leadership position in the sector alongside our Nexamp team," said Satoshi Hamada, CEO of Diamond Generating Corp.

Nexamp has been proactive in developing community-backed solar projects in the U.S., and last year completed a 2.3 MW ground mount array at the Jiminy Peak Resort in Massachusetts with the financial assistance of more than 100 local residents, each who own a stake in the farm.

By entering into an agreement with Mitsubishi-backed Diamond, the company should be able to further monetize tax credits available for solar power, reducing its reliance in third-party tax equity, company CEO Zaid Ashai said.

Japan’s Tokyo-headquartered Mitsubishi is most active in the solar market via TMEIC, its collaboration with Toshiba that produces solar inverters, chiefly for the domestic market.

By acquiring a large stake in Nexamp, the corporation aims to "develop and operate its power generation businesses globally as an IPP, continuing to pursue new business models in keeping with the changes taking place in the business environment", Mitsubishi said in a statement.

For Diamond Generating Corp, the deal is its first foray into solar power, and the company confirmed that it will work with Nexamp to develop further community solar projects as well as C&I assets. The firm’s VP Paula Zagrecki said that community solar in the U.S. is a "neglected part of the market", adding that there is a lot of opportunity out there.